For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 12-23-3

  • Arraignment: A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

(1) ALCOHOL OR DRUG RELATED OFFENSES. All offenses, including municipal ordinance violations, in which alcohol and drug abuse is determined from the evidence to have been a factor in the commission of the offense including juveniles charged with possession of controlled substances and adjudicated delinquent.

(2) ALCOHOL ABUSE. The use of alcohol to the extent that the health, safety or welfare of the user, or that of others, is substantially impaired or endangered or the social or economic function of the user is disrupted.

(3) DRUG ABUSE. Use of a controlled substance or drug with abuse or addictive potential to the extent that the user has lost the ability of self control, or to the extent that the health, safety, or welfare of the user, or that of others, is substantially impaired or endangered, or the social or economic function of the user is disrupted.

(4) COURT REFERRAL OFFICER PROGRAM. A program established to evaluate defendants’ use of alcohol and/or drugs and to provide assistance to courts in promoting the education and rehabilitation of defendants including juveniles and those granted youthful offender status or convicted of alcohol and/or drug-related offenses.

(5) COURT REFERRAL OFFICERS. Those persons within designated court jurisdictions providing assessment or evaluation of defendants for alcohol and/or drug abuse, recommendations and/or referrals for education or treatment and monitoring for court-ordered compliance.

(6) DUI. Driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as proscribed by Section 32-5A-191, or any other law.

(7) DIVERSIONARY SCREENING. The power of the prosecutor, prior to arraignment, to consider all circumstances of criminal proceedings and to determine whether any legal action is to be taken.

(8) PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION. The discretionary power of a prosecutor to suspend, prior to the arraignment, all formal prosecutorial proceedings against one who has become involved in the criminal justice system as a defendant or an accused.

(9) ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT. Any complaint, information, or grand jury indictment.

(10) NON-CRIMINAL DISPOSITION. The dismissal of a criminal charge without prejudice to reinstate criminal proceedings on motion of the prosecutor as herein provided.

(11) PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION. The imposition of conditions by the prosecutor upon defendants charged with certain criminal offenses for a specified period of time prior to arraignment.

(12) DEFERRED PROSECUTION. The suspension of prosecution prior to arraignment for a specified period of time upon the request of the accused with the consent of the prosecutor.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-390, p. 537, §3.)